2010 Moonlight Ramble

Artistic Moonlight Ramble Shots

The Moonlight Ramble is a late-night bike ride through the city (and county) of St. Louis that serves as a fundraiser to help build a hostel in the old Mullanphy Emigrant Home. The past two rides had us starting downtown and heading to Forest Park and back. This year was a little bit different.

Artistic Moonlight Ramble Shots

Starting at the Muny, we rode through the park before emerging by Barnes on Clayton Road. We cut over on Sarah to Manchester and rode down Manchester / Choteau to Jefferson. Making a left on Jefferson, we crossed over the Jefferson viaduct before heading back west on Market street. At the end of Market, we got onto Forest Park Parkway and we took that all the way to downtown Clayton before turning around and returning to the park.

Some notes about the ride:

  1. The girls claim that it was hillier than the previous years, although we did not have to deal with Art Hill, or the climb back up Market Street. In all fairness, the western portions of the parkway are surprisingly hilly.
  2. The route avoided the eastbound intersection of Forest Park Parkway and Market, a windy, hilly, narrow, pot-holed stretch that had bad accidents the two rides prior.
  3. Riding into Clayton at night is pretty neat.
  4. Jen is pretty sure that she ran over a frog. She’s getting the jibblies just reading this sentence.

Artistic Moonlight Ramble Shots

It was a good ride, but it was quite muggy. Late hours and high humidity don’t make for good pictures, but Jen did take some nice artistic shots. Our customary visit to Uncle Bill’s followed. With the late start, the long ride and an overly chatty waitress, we ended up hitting the hay around 5:30 AM, but it was well worth it.

Ride I-64, Part Deux

Regular readers will note that around this time last year, we got to ride our bikes on the soon-to-be opened portion of Highway 40 / I-64. Now, with the second phase of the project opening tomorrow, Yao, Sheena, Kenny, Jen and I were afforded the same opportunity on the stretch from Hanley Rd. to Kingshighway. Overcast again, it was quite a bit colder and windier today, but once we got on the road, we warmed up significantly.

The ride from Hanley to Kingshighway and back was a pretty easy one. Maybe 5 miles each way, there were hills, but it wasn’t too strenuous. Plus, when else can you get a view of the highway from up close on a bike? Regarding the highway itself, it looked great. It is much straighter and more level than the previous one, and the interchanges look like they were given the proper amount of thought. This ought to make my commute a lot nicer.

Afterwards, we got Spicy Beef Noodle Stew at Shu Feng in U. City, one of Yao and Sheena’s favorite places. Hella tasty! We’ll definitely be going back there.

Ready to Ramble!

The Moonlight Ramble is one of the coolest things to do in St. Louis. It’s a late night bike ride from Downtown to Forest Park and back and the two times we have done it have been so much fun. Last year was the first time and we definitely learned from the experience. This time around, we snuck our way to the front of the pack instead of waiting at the rear and we got out quite a bit sooner than if we had waited. There were are lot of people behind us:

The route this year took us from the Solider’s Memorial, down Market, onto the Forest Park Parkway, into the park, over the new Tamm Avenue (gasp — a north/south avenue in STL!?!?!) Bridge, down Oakland Ave., back over the Hampton Bridge, through the park, through the Wash U. Medical School Campus, back onto the Parkway, and back to the Memorial. It was a little bit shorter than last year, but I must say that the ride was much easier — probably a factor of all that exercise we’ve been punishing ourselves with. Art Hill wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember, in fact, I’d go so far as to say that Art Hill was positively Greenbergian. We did stop by the Grand Basin to get a nice picture of the Art Museum though:

The one downside to this year’s event was the massive wreck at the junction between the Parkway and Market Street. We had to dismount and walk our bikes past the accident, which left a woman on the side of the road with serious road rash on her face. Thankfully, the paramedics were on the scene, but that area was dangerous last year as well. Perhaps the organizers will look at a different route to avoid the hilly, narrow, curvy part with numerous storm grates that are perfect for snagging front tires.

Also this year, the weather was fantastic. It was a little bit cooler than last year, but that just made the ride more comfortable. You couldn’t ask for a better scene, and the ability to explore the city by bike is perfect for a STL junkie like myself. A trip to Uncle Bill’s afterwards is always nice.

If you like riding bikes, I definitely recommend it. Hopefully, we can see you at the Ramble next year! Click here for all the pictures.


Now, can you really call it brunch when you eat at 9AM and they are only serving breakfast foods? Because the title sounds so much better that way instead of “Bike-n-Breakfast.” See? Okay, so that’s not the point. The point is that a couple of weeks ago, Katie, Bob and I got our bikes our for the first time in 2009 and attended an organized ride at Creve Coeur Park which took us all the way to the Little Hills Winery in Old Town St. Charles. The day was perfect for a spring bike ride, it was a bit on the chilly side at 7:30AM Saturday morning but we made it through. When we got to the Lake House, we did notice that the group skewed toward the older crowd but there were a smattering of families with children.

Once everyone was gathered, we were off…very slowly. I know that it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a bike but come on! I guess I now understood why the group was older. Of course I wasn’t looking for a road race but really, I could have walked faster than that. At that pace, though, I was able to enjoy the scenery around me, I looked left and I looked right and only a couple of times did I almost veer off into a ditch.

Once we got to the Little Hills Winery, they had a buffet set up with fruit, waffles, biscuits and gravy, an omelet bar, etc. We got our food and sat outside, enjoying the patio overlooking the streets of Old Town St. Charles. It was really a peaceful setting and we figured out that we can totally do this on our own because they offer this buffet every Saturday and Sunday. Nice!

Afterward, the ranger said that we could split up and so we did because I needed to explore Tartan Day! I mean, men in kilts throwing stones, period costumes, border collies herding sheep, wooden swords, what more of an excuse do you need to attend this spectacle? Oh, it was also free.

I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants!

Click here for all the photos.

Ride I-64

As any St. Louisan knows, Highway 40 (aka I-64 — they are really pushing the interstate designation since this project used a lot of federal money) has been closed since the first of the year between Highways 270 and 170 as part of a two year plan to redo the entire highway from 270 to Kingshighway Blvd. While the freakout that the local “news” organizations frothed up didn’t actually occur, the traffic was a little bit worse and a bunch of people were inconvenienced this year. Next year, they are closing the second half, which will affect us more, and will probably send another round of panic stories in the Post-Disgrace and the like, but in the end, the highway will be much improved.

The reason I am so sure of the great improvement is because today, Jen, Katie, Yao, and I got an up close and personal view of the newly completed portion of I-64. As a fundraiser for The St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, we were given the opportunity to ride our bikes on the new highway before it opens tomorrow. Miraculously, the weather cooperated (at least as well as can be expected in St. Louis in December) and we had a great time.

We entered the highway at Ballas Road, the westernmost part of the new highway, and rode towards the city on the westbound lanes (the eastbound lanes were reserved for people walking, people with dogs, people with Segways, etc), stopping over Lindbergh Boulevard for the picture you see above. There, we ran into Katie’s parents, who were there with friends on the other side of the highway. After a quick break and a chance to take in the awesome new interchanges (yes, the scary tight cloverleaf at Lindbergh is gone, replaced by a nice single point interchange), we continued on eastward. I took this video going down the hill, thanks to Monika and her awesome birthday gift of a camera tripod with bendable legs that I used to make a handlebar cam.

As we continued eastward, the official biking area ended at McKnight, but we wanted to go further and there was no one to stop us so hey, why not?

We made it all the way to the interchange between I-170 and I-64, and we were able to go out on the new flyover ramps to get a great view of the area:

As we slowly headed back, we took the time to enjoy the sites and see a part of St. Louis that you are normally flying past at high rates of speed. It was truly an awesome experience and we hope to repeat it next year when the second part of the highway opens.

Click here for all the pictures.